One of my photos

Busy week so far

March 16th, 2010 · Posted by Skuds in Life/Politics · No Comments · Life, Politics

Is it only Tuesday?  The week seems old already, because ther has been a lot going on.  Yesterday I went out to a gathering of lefties at an informal meeting of the local UAF, but with the news about Laura’s retirement being fresh there was a lot of gossip and speculation before we got down to business.Somehow I managed to break a personal rule, and came away from the meeting with all sorts of actions and late into the night I was emailing all sorts of people, including my opponents in the forthcoming election to see if they would join me to support the UAF when they go to Horsham

Today I went straight from work to visit politics students at Christ’s Hospital and bore the life out of them and on the way home I passed through Horsham and remembered that there was a planning meeting going on which my colleagues in Horsham Labour party were addressing so I stopped off for that.

More about that later. Probably.

Today’s events made me all nostalgic for several reasons.  First of all, the visit to Christ’s Hospital remined me of my own time at school.  Obviously my school was nowhere near as grand, but it was still a co-educational boarding school out in the country and I was wondering how life in such an establishment will be different now, and how it would be similar.

I remember my last year at school very fondly.  Video games were very much in the future, as were video recorders, let alone computers and the internet.  If we had Spotify at school would it have made life better or worse I wonder?  Certainly we would have been exposed to more tunes, but would have missed out on listening to the same few Yes and Genesis albums over and over again.

If I remember rightly, our last summer was a glorious one and having got exams out of the way, we spent a lot of time swimming, sunbathing outside the pool, and making use of the athletics facilities – not that you would believe it to see me now.  And punk was just starting to filter through to us as well.

Chatting to the students, I speculated that mobile phones must make everything different. At my school there was a single pay phone between 250 pupils so phone calls home were a rarity.  Now they can be texting friends and family all the time.  They pointed out that mobile phones are not allowed for the junior years.  In my mind I was just thinking that bottles of Captain Morgan rum were not allwed at my school but they were stashed away in the senior common room anyway 🙂

The Horsham council planning meeting made me nostalgic in a different way, for a different time.  Although the set-up was totally different to Crawley’s committee rooms, there were enough reminders of my time as Chair of Development Control – the inaudible sound system, the press scribbling away, the endless maps.

I have been to a few of the Crawley planning meetings since leaving the council but at those I felt that I knew exactly what was going on because the people and surroundings were so familiar.  In many cases I could guess what the councillors were going to say before they said it, because they were returning to familiar favourite topics.  In Horsham tonight I appreciate more what it must have been like as a first-time visitor.

A few of the councillors are now familiar to me, as is the chief executive, but it took me a while to work out who was in the chair and which people round the table were planning officers and other staff.  Not being able to hear anything much that was said did not help of course.  Nice to see that a fandamental failure to understand that microphones work best if they are spoken into was not just a peculiar trait of crawley councillors!

Having sat through that I feel I should retrospectively apologise to every member of the public who ever attended one of the planning meetings I chaired.  I did try to introduce all the dramatis personae at the beginning and make some explanation of procedure to the public, but I now realise that I probably did not go anywhere near far enough.

Anyway, I think we got a result, of sorts, in the planning decision, and I had a thoroughly good time at the school, on top of a reasonably productive day at work so all together I think it was a good day.

I will be glad when people stop asking me if I am going to transfer from Horsham to Crawley as a candidate though.  There are four very good reasons why I can’t/won’t – the fifth of which is that Horsham Labour party has already paid some money towards printing election leaflets with my name all over them.

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